One day, the brothers Zzli come to the doorstep of a little girl named Welcome. Welcome has plenty of room in her big, empty house, and the travelers—who have come from far away—make good pancakes and even better company. But others in the forest find this new family strange, even dangerous. When the bears invite their neighbors to a big party, only
Welcome’s friend the bat shows up. Soon after that, a policeman knocks on their door, threatening to destroy the brothers’ beloved beehives. Maybe Welcome and her friends need to find someplace that might accept three bears, a bat, and a girl like her: somewhere to call home at last.
With charming, delightful illustrations reminiscent of vintage children’s classics, The Brothers Zzli invites readers to join a bear family’s search for belonging in a world that views them with suspicion. This poignant story will spark lasting conversations about the impact of prejudice, the struggles of refugees, and the responsibility we have to our neighbors—especially the new ones.
Booklist (starred review)
“This moving allegory is captured by expressive, vintage-like illustrations created with markers and digital media primarily featuring reds, yellows, greens, and blues. Wordless full-page spreads at the end capture the uplifting conclusion, capping off the story’s inclusive message.”
Foreword Reviews (starred review)
“Glowing primary colors illuminate this story that ends with hope—despite all odds.”
“A quirky, poignant take on the refugee crisis, though one best introduced by sensitive caregivers or educators.”